6.6/10
11,839
125 user 50 critic

The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

Passed | | Drama, Family, Romance | May 1952 (USA)
The dramatic lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant trainer are told against a background of circus spectacle.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Fredric M. Frank (screenplay), Barré Lyndon (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Victorian Englishman bets that with the new steamships and railways he can circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.

Directors: Michael Anderson, John Farrow
Stars: David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee
Oliver! (1968)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being sold to a mortician, young orphan Oliver Twist runs away and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis
My Fair Lady (1964)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Snobbish phonetics Professor Henry Higgins (Sir Rex Harrison) agrees to a wager that he can make flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) presentable in high society.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway
Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Johnny Slate is the big boss who successfully keeps the circus running as it moves from town to town. He manages to deal with the unexpected frequently and uses Otto King, the accountant, as a sounding board.

Stars: Jack Palance, Stuart Erwin, Michael Consoldane
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Director: George Seaton
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne
Little Women (1949)
Drama | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of sisters experience life's difficulties and its pleasures while growing up in nineteenth-century America.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor
Little Women (1933)
Drama | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A chronicle of the lives of a group of sisters growing up in nineteenth-century America.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Paul Lukas
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

At the turn of the century, Duke and Chester, two vaudeville performers, go to Alaska to make their fortune. On the ship to Skagway, they find a map to a secret gold mine, which had been ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Walker
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two carefree castaways on a desert shore find an Arabian Nights city, where they compete for the luscious Princess Shalmar.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Betty Hutton ... Holly
Cornel Wilde ... The Great Sebastian
Charlton Heston ... Brad Braden
Dorothy Lamour ... Phyllis
Gloria Grahame ... Angel
Henry Wilcoxon ... FBI Agent Gregory
Lyle Bettger ... Klaus
Lawrence Tierney ... Mr. Henderson
Emmett Kelly ... Emmett Kelly
Cucciola Cucciola ... Cucciola
Antoinette Concello Antoinette Concello ... Antoinette Concello
John Ringling North John Ringling North ... John Ringling North
Tuffy Genders Tuffy Genders ... Tuffy Genders
John Kellogg ... Harry
John Ridgely ... Assistant Manager
Edit

Storyline

To ensure a full profitable season, circus manager Brad Braden engages The Great Sebastian, though this moves his girlfriend Holly from her hard-won center trapeze spot. Holly and Sebastian begin a dangerous one-upmanship duel in the ring, while he pursues her on the ground. Subplots involve the secret past of Buttons the Clown and the efforts of racketeers to move in on the game concessions. Let the show begin! Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thrill to Cecil B. DeMille's pageantry and excitement! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

May 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth See more »

Filming Locations:

Cedar City, Utah, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$36,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucille Ball was Cecil B. DeMille's first choice for the role of Angel, but she was pregnant with daughter Lucie, and was replaced by Gloria Grahame. Paulette Goddard also campaigned strongly for the role but was turned down owing to her reluctance to perform stunt scenes. See more »

Goofs

When Brad is checking the baby gorillas after learning they may have contracted the mumps, a crowd of onlookers is gathered right behind, plainly staring at the camera filming the scene. See more »

Quotes

Angel: Did he say you were like cognac? All fire in zee glass?
Holly: No, he said I was like champagne. I made his head spin.
Angel: Yeah, only you'll be the one who winds up with a hangover.
See more »

Connections

Featured in War of the Worlds (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Three Blind Mice
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great show and story
1 October 2002 | by Graceland316See all my reviews

I know that some people are down on this movie, but I absolutely LOVE it. It has great ideals and good (not great) acting. It tells a story about the circus in a pseudo-documentary. The story has love, action, and humor. Three things that are missing from much of today's movie. I also love the color and the dramatic "feel" of the film for that era. It's a wonderful, wonderful, piece of 'Americana'.


27 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 125 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed